Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Introducing Brooke Brown!

Hi Teacher Friends!
I would like to introduce you to the lovely and talented, Brooke Brown. She didn't mention this little tidbit, which is no surprise, but did you know she is Teacher of the Year for our entire district?! Impressive! That makes me impressive by association, right?! Hop on over to her blog and follow her. She has great ideas:)

My name is Brooke Brown, and I'm a teacher, wife, mom, and grad student from Norman, Oklahoma.  My husband and I have a two year old daughter, Ellie Kate, and a Westie named Millie.  We love visiting our lake cabin and spending time as a family at Lake Texoma whenever we have a chance!  At the moment, my favorite hobby is creating innovative teaching materials to share on Teachers Pay Teachers. I also keep very busy as I finish up my Masters degree in Educational Leadership.
I currently teach third grade and this is my tenth year of teaching. I've also taught first grade and second grade.
My favorite subject to teach is definitely Interactive Writing, with Guided Reading and Shared Reading not far behind. I am very passionate about literacy and enjoy fostering a lifelong love for reading and writing.
If you popped into my classroom unannounced, you'd most likely find my students engaged in reading and writing.  I try to incorporate literacy into all subject areas, whether it be our Reading Response Journals, Mini-Math Diaries, or Science Journals.  Third grade is such a critical year for establishing strong literacy habits, and I love taking advantage of their natural interests and curiosity.
When I'm having "one of those days," my fabulous third grade team ALWAYS gets me through.  There's something to be said about the camaraderie, and sometimes almost a "sisterhood," of an effective team of teachers.  We collaborate on a regular basis and are always there to support one another professionally AND personally.  At the same time, we help one another to be stronger and more devoted teachers while putting the welfare of our students first. 
What six words describe you best? 
1) Driven
2) Inspirational
3) Innovative
4) Compassionate
5) Outgoing
6) Dedicated
What is one “can’t live without” office supply?
Highlighters and Post it Notes!  To a third grader, they make EVERYTHING more exciting! 

Below is a link to my current favorite TpT product.  My kids are loving it!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

I am guest posting. Guess where!

Hey Teacher Friends,
I am super duper stoked to tell you that I am guest posting over at Minds In Bloom today. I can't tell you how tickled I am to be talking about using partners. The thing that really gets me is that Rachelle Lynette is my all-time favorite. I am obsessed with task cards and her products were the first thing I EVER purchased on TeachersPayTeachers.

Please head on over and take a gander. I have included an adorable partner freebie for ya:)

I will be featuring a guest post here on the blog this week from Brooke at For the Love of Literacy. She is a wonderful teacher and I just might know her personally. How often does that happen in the bloggy world?!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Five for Friday on a Sunday!

I am linking up this week with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I have GOT to get more organized if I am regularly going to do this linky. I get all panicky and then just scrap my whole post. This week was just too good to care if I was late. 

Apple Day in K!
Our Kinder teachers and librarian invited me to teach a center rotation during Apple Day. We all sat down and planned it together. It was so much fun. I have been getting into rooms to teach and meet with teachers a lot, which make my pangs of longing for the classroom less stabbing:) Here are some pictures. Pardon the quality. It is just easier for me to use my phone on the fly. 
Mrs. Morgan's center included a story. "The Little Red House with No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside"
Click the link to see the story. So cute!

 Here is my center. We measured each student's height with apples. The kids added their numbers to the correct side of the graph and in the correct spot! They are smarties:) I think it helped that we stacked our apples and our librarian, Mrs. Gourd, read the book "Ten Apples Up On Top!" with the kiddos in the center just before mine.
Here she is with her book and her adorable questioning stars. I think she got them at Lakeshore. The kids love the wands and were answering some hard questions.

We had two other centers that I neglected to get pictures of. (pardon my grammar) Oops!
After the centers, the kiddos went back to their rooms for some homemade applesauce. It smelled DIVINE! So yummy that Dahlia and I made our own at home last night!

I may or may not have happened through the gym (okay, let's be honest...my office is in the gym), and I may or may not have seen a certain p.e. teacher doing the cha cha slide with 3rd graders. SO CUTE!

I was invited to the music room to learn a dance to ROAR by Katy Perry. I just love that song! And...I have to tell you... I am SO OUT OF SHAPE! The third graders were unphased and I was on the side of the room trying to conceal my huffing and puffing. 
The GMA Katy Perry Roar Contest is over, but this video that Norman High entered is too fun to not share. Plus, lots of my former students are in it. 

While I was in the music classroom, I spotted this little beauty. What a perfect scale for a music classroom! Go Mrs. Love:)

I spent my day on Thursday meeting with teachers and looking at intervention data. I was and continue to be so impressed with the amount of work our teachers put into everything that they do!! 

I got a super awesome email this week. It is kind of a secret, but I will let you know more in a future post. Until then, here is a freebie!


Friday, October 11, 2013

Best Times to Pin: Get the Timing Right

I am making an effort to be a more effective pinner. I have been under-utilizing Pinterest and my realization prompted some research.

I was planning on pinning this article, but I wasn't able to find a picture that I deemed pin-able.

Here is another:

This article has an infographic, which I like, but has some conflicting information.

Like anything you research in the interwebz, I expected some variation in the times. Some articles said to pin between 2 and 4pm, some said the high traffic times were between 5 and 7 and to pin about an hour before that, and others said that the 5 to 7 time was the kiss of death. Clear as mud, right? I did notice a time they all agreed was prime time to pin: Saturday Mornings.

Here is what I am thinking, and I would love to hear your opinions, teacher friends. Teacher pinners may be a subset in the Pinterest world. To know when to pin education content, I plan to do some research.

I will start pinning at various times in the day:
2pm to 4pm weekdays
4pm to 6pm weekdays
5am (let's be honest, this one might not happen!)
Saturday Mornings

After a bit, I will know which times worked best for me. I will let you know.

If you have been working out the best times to pin, I would love to hear from you!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Amazing Teachers=Fun Spelling Activity

As an instructional coach I see things. Lots of things. Things I can't unsee. We won't go into those things today. We will, however, see a really fun activity that you can do NOW!

A little background: We are implementing a new spelling system this year. It is called L to J. The program takes away the permission to forget the spelling words. Anywho...it is new. And with new learning systems, comes a new set of challenges.

A challenge our teachers are facing is how to help kids get meaningful spelling practice in throughout the day. I am focusing on this exact topic this month in our coaching sessions. So, it made me very happy to see this:

At first, I was pretty sure this little guy was just another picture of a bug. Our school is out in the country. Scorpions and other critters are commonplace yucky culturally embedded. Ahem, we even had a student use giant scorpions as a marketing hook in his student council speech. And everyone got it! 

Then, I looked a little closer, which was was tricky since it was displayed on the back of the door and I could have been knocked out at any moment. I know, my blogging bravery is unheard of. HAHAHA!

But I digress. Look, it is a spelling activity!! WHAT?! 

pardon the blurry iPhone picture, but can you see those little word-legs??
 Can you see the words? Know what the best part is? It is a coloring sheet! The kids just flip the sucker over and "trace it" with their spelling words.

Know the other best part? The kids love it. Can't get better than that, right?

Wrong! Know the other other best part? That little millipede is a science connection. Yep. Cross-curricular, baby!

Okay, I am done gushing. Sherri and Shannon, Fourth Grade Teachers Extraordinaire! You rock, but please, choose kitten next time. These creepy crawlies are freaking me out:)

Try it and comment what your favorite spelling activity is!

Toodles Teacher Friends,